How to Work with SHQ

White Ink on Colored Envelopes, yea baby!

We are pretty sure you are going to love this option as long as you know how to set up your files for print. For now we are only printing addresses on the front of the envelope, stay tuned for addressing + back flap – we are working on it!

For variable data with white ink:

1.    Create a multi-page, 7.25″ x 5.25″ document with each name and address on a single page for the A7 envelope.

2. Create a new swatch called SpotColor_White. This example is in InDesign.

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3. All artwork, including each name and address should be assigned SpotColor_White.

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NOTE: WE DO NOT PRINT BLEEDS ON ENVELOPES, MAKE SURE YOUR ARTWORK IS AT LEAST .25″ FROM ALL EDGES

4. Save the file as a high resolution, multi page pdf file.

5. Upload the file.

6. Proof your artwork (you can view as many pages as you’d like).

7. Complete your order.

Order your White Ink Variable Data Envelopes today!

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Do you need custom sizes in small quantities? We got you.

We know how designers like to create original everything so now we have an option for that. If you want a non-standard size in a flat, one-sided format in small quantities, our new DIY Sheet with Cutting is for you. DIY

Here’s how to set up files in Illustrator:

  1. Create a 12″ x 18″ document, either landscape or vertical.
  2. Add guides for the print area: 11.5″ x 17″
  3. Create artwork in desired sizes and fit into print area, place all pieces at 90 degree angles, we cannot cut odd angles.
  4. Make a square or rectangle in the size you want, select it, then go to Objects > Create Trim Marks.
  5. If you have color or images that bleed off the edge, expand them to go at least .125″ beyond the trim marks.

Tip: Leave at least a 3/4″ between pieces for best results.

Minimum: 25 sheets, $1.77 per sheet (if you have a wholesale account)DIY_after

DIY Sheets with Cutting is a great option for a set of odd sized cards, wedding place cards, custom sized postcards, disposable coasters and whatever else you creative types can come up with.

Reordering is easy on SHQ

We’ve had several StationeryHQ customers recommend a Reorder button and though we already have one, we’ve never written up instructions on the process. With just a few clicks, you can find previous orders and reorder to your heart’s content!

Here’s how:

1. Login at StationeryHQ

my_orders

2. Click on your User Name (green highlight)
3. Under My Account in the left nav area, click on Orders (yellow highlight)
4. Find the order number. You may need to scroll down to find it.
(Hint: Mac- use Command F, PC- use Control F and type in the order number)
5. Click the Details button all the way to right (red highlight)

reorder_screen

6. Click the Reorder button (orange highlight) and it will take you back into the cart

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7. You can then change the order quantity with the drop down menu (purple highlight) and update your cart

We hope this makes your life a little easier!

Keep calm and order on

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 12.11.00 PM

We’ve had some people report that their connection wasn’t secure on the StationeryHQ checkout page. It didn’t make sense since all of our security certificates are up to date, so we got right on the case! We did quite a bit of research and here’s what we found:

http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/85830/why-is-symantec-verisign-ca-appearing-as-an-invalid-authority

It has something to do with a user’s system certificate chain storage. We’re not going to pretend we fully understand this, but thought we should share the best research we found. We believe our site is as secure as possible and since we don’t store credit cards, you should be good.

We hope this helps.

Beef up the bottom line with flat cards for the holidays

toolsMost of us creative types are all about the design, the message and the media. We aren’t crazy about the math, it’s usually not in a Top 10 priorities spot when we are brainstorming. Here’s the thing though, understanding the bottom line is kind of, you know, crucial. Flat cards from StationeryHQ are a great way to be well-compensated for your talent and efforts.

If you are a wholesale customer, a two-sided, full color, flat A7 card will start at  $.43 each. So for the sake of argument, let’s say you order 50 for a total cost of $21.50 + shipping. Flat cards on fine papers sell on major retail sites for OVER $2.00 each. That’s $100 for a set of 50, leaving you with $79.50 per order. Do 10 orders like that per week (pretty easy workload, right?) and you’re making about $3,000 a month without breaking a sweat. If you did the same number of cards/orders with folded cards, your margin would be closer to $2,000 per month and you had to work a little harder to set up the artwork. See how fun the math is now?

A few more $ tips:

• Requiring a minimum of 25 or 50 as opposed to 10 gets you more profit with exactly the same amount of work.

• Charge a premium for extras like rounded corners, still no extra work for you but a sassier product and better margin.

• Offer incentives for large orders, many customers will “order up” when they know they are close to a discount or promotion.

• Encourage your clients to order early to save on shipping costs. And so you can enjoy the holidays.

Cheers!

Foil continues to shine

You designers have made foil for online automated ordering one of our fastest growing categories. The rest of the world is still falling in love with this look so be sure to include in your 2015 holiday collection. Keep in mind that it takes 7 – 10 business days as opposed to 3 days to produce. Order early so you don’t have to stress about getting them out on time.

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Silver foil on Natural Savoy. Boom.

Things to know when you are designing for foil:

– Foil reproduces best on smoother papers, if you want to use cotton or felt, keep it big and bold

– Make strokes 2pt or bigger

– Simpler, solid artwork will reproduce the foil best

– Comes in A7, A2 and 4bar

– File set up is a little different, check out file set up instructions, you’ll find them under the white card preview

Silver foil on Ice Pearl. Mmmm, so shiny.

Silver foil on Ice Pearl. Mmmm, so shiny.

Available foil colors.

Available foil colors.

Get your shine on and post your foil design pics on our facebook page so we can celebrate your sparkle

WTH is navy blue and why does it look purple?

What you see on screen can vary from the final printed product and this is often true when working with the color navy blue. It looks like the perfect blue on your monitor, but when you get your cards back, first you see purple and then you see red! Your monitor uses the RGB color model (red/blue/green) which differs from the CMYK (cyan/magenta/yellow/black) ink colors used in print, making navy a thorn in your side.

navy2a

The issue is caused by the amounts of cyan and magenta in the mix. Remember learning about the color wheel in school? You learned that when you mix blue with red, you get purple, right? It’s the same idea with 4 colors, too. Too much magenta mixed with cyan will leave you with purple, when you really wanted a dark blue. The color might look right on screen, but it will most likely print more purple than blue. Paper can also affect the way a color prints, but that’s a whole different story.

navy2b

A good mix for navy blue can vary a bit. 100C/85M/0Y/50K will give you a darker navy blue. You can always adjust the black (K) if it seems too dark. 100C/85M/0Y/30K will produce a lighter navy and even though it looks deceptively close to 100C/95M/0Y/0K on screen, don’t let your eyes fool you. Of course, there’s no absolute perfect mix, but these are good bets. Give one of them a shot next time you’re prepping files to upload to StationeryHQ!

I feel the need – the need for a bleed

You’ve designed a fabulous card and now you want StationeryHQ to print it! You saved a PDF/X-1a, just like the SHQ File Setup Guidelines say, but your file doesn’t fit the preview area. What happened? It could be that you didn’t account for bleed in the file.

Bleed is essential in print so the image goes all the way to the edge of the card. Without bleed, you’ll get white strips around the design that aren’t meant to be there. Even if your card has a white background, it can still be cut the wrong size if a bleed is not included.

There are two ways to add bleed to your file. This example uses Adobe Illustrator, but this process is universal with Adobe software.

Method 1: Add bleed to file by calling out a “Bleed”

The screen shot below shows how to set up your file from scratch using this method. When creating a new document, plug in the size of the final card size (we used 5 x 7) and then call out the bleed below. SHQ requires a .25 bleed to both width and height, so you’d add .125 on all four sides for a total of .25 to both dimensions.

bleed1

 

The screen shot below shows how the file you just created should look. The artboard is 5 x 7 and has a .125 bleed all the way around. Your design should go all the way to the red line around the 5 x 7 to cover the bleed area.

bleed1a

Then when you go to save your fab design, make sure to check the box “Use Document Bleed Settings” in the pop-up window.

bleed1b

 

Method 2: Add bleed to file by including bleed in the size of your artboard

The screen shot below shows how to set up your file from scratch using this method. When creating a new document, plug in the size of the final card size including .25 for bleed. We made a 5 x 7 card, so the dimensions would be 5.25 x 7.25. Leave the Bleed section alone because the bleed will be added in to the size of your art board.

bleed2

The screen shot below shows how the file you just created should look. The art board is 5.25 x 7.25. Your design should go all the way to the edge of the art board to cover the bleed area.

bleed2a

Then when you go to save your fab design, do not check the box “Use Document Bleed Settings” in the pop-up window. You’ve already added the bleed to your final size, so you’re good to go.

bleed2b

 

And for good measure, don’t forget to outline fonts, change all Pantone colors to CMYK and save as a PDF/X-1a.

Now when you upload your 5 x 7 card to the website, it should fit perfectly into the preview!

Printing and Pancakes

Here’s the 411: Printing is flat like a pancake. If your pancake isn’t flat, it won’t cook right. The same goes for printing! To ensure your file prints correctly, you gotta turn it into a pancake by flattening any transparencies it may have. Transparent objects cause problems in digital printing, so it’s best to get rid of ’em before you even start.

Here’s what you do:
1. Open file in Adobe Illustrator
2. Select all (of the design)
3. Go to top menu bar and choose Objects, then scroll down to Flatten Transparency
4. A new window pops up. Choose High Resolution and click Ok to save

BOOM, pancake city!

Something to remember:
The artwork may be grouped together or may have clipping masks. If it’s all stuck together like a stack of old pancakes, you’ll need to ungroup them or release the clipping mask(s) to flatten it. There may be more than one clipping mask, so you may need to do this more than once.

You can also release clipping masks by:
* PC: right click > Release Clipping Mask
* Mac: select option+click >Release Clipping Mask

Here are a few screen shots of where to find the steps in the menu bar:

Select All:

selectall

Release Clipping Mask:

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Flatten Transparency:

flattrans

Window that comes up to Flatten Transparency:

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And you can always refer to the StationeryHQ File Setup Guidelines to see the rest of the important deets!